Coffee & Tea 4

Calgary - Great Coffee - Divino is Outstanding

rlh | May 27, 200802:08 PM

Thanks to this board I had a pretty stellar 48-hour visit to downtown Calgary -

Caffe Artigiano was some of the very best coffee (drip, French press, and Clover) that I've ever had (the bar being previously set by Blue Bottle in the Bay Area) - the beans I imported home are equally amazing. I wish it was more reasonable to ship from Canada to the US! There was a featured New Guinea drip cup that was the best of all (but none of those beans for sale, unfortunately).

I'll be looking into where else 49th Parallel may be had in my future northern travels! The breakfast burrito was also a really pleasant surprise - very tasty for something pre-assembled and stored. We have nothing like this that I know of in Boston!

I also tried to get to Kawa Expresso but mistook 8th Ave for 8th St SW in the posting and ended up with a nice tour of an urban park/Science Center on the edge of downtown (there is no 13th St and 8th Ave SW that I could find, by the way) and then hiked back to Artigiano (visit 2 of 3 in less than 2 days...).

I happened upon Divino while wandering around in search of a non-pub dinner my one evening out -- wow, did I find it! - the bar was just great - the bartender (Bryan, according to my receipt) really knew his wine and spirits thoroughly and suggested some great pairings for me (a solo diner).

For my meal, I had two starter plates - the lobster (which also includes truffle flavor and a nicely-seared scallop - beautiful, fresh, and delicious all around - exquisite, actually) and the mussels (well above average overall but the frites could be much crisper and the Parm grated on top didn't really work for me). The Alsatian (dry) Reisling by the glass was amazing. The BC Pinot Blanc was fine.

I selected three cheeses for dessert with a 1997 port (Delaforce or Delacourt? - new bottle opened for my glass!) - truly outstanding, especially the Alberta Aged Gouda (Sylvan Star, I think) and the Pecorino from the Treviso area in Italy (this was a real surprise added by the aforementioned bartender when I wasn't that excited by the aged Montreal cheddar - it was really unique and great with the port!).

This was an unexpectedly memorable meal - topping some great ones in Victoria, Edmonton, Toronto and Ottawa.

Thanks again - I would not have made either discovery without Chowhound postings - I look forward to returning and getting to know Calgary in much greater depth before long!

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